Freedom from Bullying Part 2

Targets need coaching on how to stand taller, raise their chin level and maintaining eye contact when talking with others. Have them practice this in a mirror and with you (holding eye contact for 8 seconds is a good goal). Fearful, anxious people take short strides, so help your child lengthen her gait by two to four inches, depending on height.

Be sure to read part 1 of this article.

Be sure to read part 1 of this article.

Targets tend to look fearful and anxious. Help them smile more, which shows confidence, but it needs to be the right kind of smile. Have your child say “Cheese whiz,” then hold it. This creates a smaller and appropriate smile that doesn’t look “weird” to others.

Freedom from Bullying Part 1

In order to effectively combat bullying, the leading form of child abuse in America, and the only form we tell the most vulnerable among us to “just ignore,” adults as well as students must overcome numerous, inaccurate and dangerous myths that actively oppose learning not just in schools but wherever children gather.

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Bullying is a specific kind of abuse that harbors specific goals. Most bullying experts define bullying as the deliberate use of superior power (physical, verbal, relational) in order to deliberately harm another, usually through some form of humiliation, isolation and threat of further abuse, and for no good reason and throughout a period of time (usually three incidents or more).

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall!

Who’s the fairest of them all?

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In the famous Brothers Grimm tale, the queen uses a magic mirror to affirm her as the most beautiful (“fairest”) in the land.   Ask students in our classes today who is the “fairest” of their teachers, and they are not considering outward appearance.  Students today see fairness in light of its modern definition:  “free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.”

10 Commandments of Constructive Criticism

The following suggestions are offered to guide the educator needing to offer constructive criticism to students, co-workers, or employees.  Because most educators seem to not enjoy an activity that feels confrontational, constructive criticism is often avoided to the detriment of the student(s).

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I remember jotting some notes down from a small pamphlet that I used to receive (The Master Teacher) more than two decades back about this topic.  I have modified my thoughts over the years and offer them now as

10 Commandments for Constructive Criticism

  1. Constructive criticism is both a positive and negative evaluation.
  2. Constructive criticism is motivated by love for and desire to build up a student.
  3. Constructive criticism is built on a foundation of a previous relationship.
  4. Constructive criticism does not label students. 
  5. Constructive criticism must be designed to fit the individual—one size does not fit all.  
  6. Constructive criticism should be given at the right time and place.
  7. Constructive criticism needs effective interaction.
  8. Constructive criticism offers solutions rather than only identifying problems.
  9. Constructive criticism is calm and caring, not confrontational.
  10. Constructive criticism assumes an ongoing relationship that will continue to nurture.

Successful teachers learn quickly that the privilege of criticism must be earned; a student must trust a teacher before criticism is accepted.  Successful teachers come to understand that the ability to teach requires the ability to critique, both positively and negatively.

So, effective teachers are either building a trust relationship so that criticism is accepted or they have already established a trust relationship and are using criticism to advance student learning.

Perhaps you have another commandment that fits here; please share it with us.  Or, maybe you disagree with one of listed above; please “critique” the list.

How have you learned to effectively use criticism in your teaching?  

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Review of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World

Perhaps more than ever, education is at a crossroad. Schools are now educating digital generation students, and alternative methods of content delivery that utilize technology and personalized digital systems are being implemented in the educational setting at an alarming rate.

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In 2011, Tom Vander Ark wrote Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World. Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart, a learning advocacy firm that promotes technology, innovation, and customized learning to make educational opportunities available for everyone.

Of Dead Ends and U-Turns

In their recently released book U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, George Barna and David Barton combine years of research and study to “examine the moral and spiritual underpinnings that made the United States great, explain the causes of decline over the past forty years, and offer a detailed road map for the future.”

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As an educator, several things have caught my attention during my initial reading of the book.  Consider the following:

12 Things You Need to Know About the Emerging Generation

Recently as I was reading Cultivate: Forming the Emerging Generation Through Life-on-life Mentoring (For Educators) the authors took time to remind this reader that most literature dealing with present generations divide these generations into four groups:  Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials.  (Click here to see a review of Cultivate that was posted here on the FOCUS blog.  If you have not yet read this book, you need to do so ASAP!)

The Emerging Gen.

While some differ, consensus is that groups can be best viewed by when they were born:

Teachable Transitions

Are your classroom transitions smooth or a train wreck? Even the best teachers can have difficulty during transitions.

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Within a day there are numerous transitions – arrival, cleanup, circle time, story time, snacks and lunch, nap or rest time, elective time, restroom break, table activity time, seatwork time, and departure. Older students have class changes and locker breaks.